Podcast for Social Research, Episode 34: On (Not) Guilty Pleasures

In the 34th episode of the Podcast for Social Research, BISR Core Faculty members Ajay Singh Chaudhary, Suzanne Schneider, and Rebecca Ariel Porte mull the case of the guilty pleasure: what does this phrase mean? What kinds of pleasures (if any) qualify as guilty? What are alternative models for thinking about our conflicted pleasures in cultural objects? How are we to rule on the defendant pleasure: guilty, not guilty, or a plea of no contest? Case studies range from country music to games, glam rock, teen dramas, science fiction, and Romantic poetry.

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This episode of the Podcast for Social Research was edited by Nechama Winston. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider supporting our Patreon page.

On (Not) Guilty Pleasures


Beverly Hills, 90210

Buffy the Vampire Slayer



David Bowie, “Life on Mars”

Bing Crosby, “Dancing under the Stars”

Hedwig and the Angry Inch, “The Origin of Love”

Jobriath, “I’maman”

Miranda Lambert, “Automatic”

My So-Called Life

Phish, “Prince Caspian”


Pretty Little Liars

Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Taylor Swift, “Tim McGraw”

Velvet Goldmine


Veronica Mars

Richard Wagner, Bayreuth




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Tags Archive


Theodor Adorno (letters to Walter Benjamin), The Complete Correspondence.

Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn.

Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction.

Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment.

John Keats, The Eve of St. Agnes.

Susan SontagNotes on Camp.”

Baruch Spinoza, Ethics.

Alfred Tennyson, The Lady of Shalott.